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Showing posts with label TKO Group Holdings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TKO Group Holdings. Show all posts

September 20, 2023

Details Behind Vince McMahon's WWE Ouster And Return

Last year, allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money payments forced Vince McMahon to step down from his role as WWE CEO. Though he retired for a time, it would be short-lived. McMahon was able to reinstate himself to the board earlier this year, though he remains under investigation by federal officials. A new story by the LA Times, in which the publication spoke to an "individual close to the board," features new insight into the company's internal investigation into McMahon and more.

According to the LA Times report, McMahon initially told the board he wouldn't stand in the way of their investigation into his actions. Additionally, McMahon reportedly agreed to step down from the board voluntarily, with some reluctance, while also claiming that each of the described encounters had been consensual and the payoffs had only been a matter of "protecting the company against potential litigation."

However, by December, McMahon had seemingly changed his mind about stepping to the side. McMahon sent a pair of letters to the company's board, informing them of his intent to return to shepherd a sale. Though the company's board, which at the time featured Stephanie McMahon and her husband Paul "Triple H" Levesque, voted unanimously against McMahon's return, the 78-year-old was able to use his voting power as a majority stockholder to replace two members and get himself back on the board.

The report indicates that McMahon viewed the internal investigation as being disloyal, and two more board members resigned in the aftermath of McMahon's return. Since then, McMahon was true to his word on setting the company up for a self, with WWE and UFC merging into TKO Group Holdings, made official earlier this month. Under the new corporate infrastructure, McMahon remains in power, serving as the Executive Chairman.

September 12, 2023

Endeavor Announces Close of UFC® And WWE® Transaction To Create TKO Group Holdings, A Premium Sports And Entertainment Company

Endeavor Announces Close of UFC® and WWE® Transaction to Create TKO Group Holdings, a Premium Sports and Entertainment Company

New Company to Begin Trading Today, September 12, on the New York Stock Exchange Under “TKO” Ticker Symbol

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. & STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EDR) (“Endeavor”) and World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (previously NYSE: WWE) (“WWE”) today announced the close of their previously announced agreement and the launch of TKO Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: TKO) (“TKO”).

TKO brings together UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and WWE, an integrated media organization and the recognized global leader in sports entertainment, to create a new premium sports and entertainment company serving more than one billion young and diverse fans1, reaching viewers in 180 countries, and producing more than 350 annual live events. Through this combination, TKO will leverage Endeavor’s expertise in areas including domestic and international media rights, ticket sales and yield optimization, event operations, global partnerships, licensing, and premium hospitality to drive revenue growth.

“The creation of TKO marks an exciting new chapter for UFC and WWE as leaders in global sports and entertainment,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor and TKO. “Given their continued connectivity to the Endeavor network, we are confident in our ability to accelerate their respective growth and unlock long-term sustainable value for shareholders. With UFC and WWE under one roof, we will provide unrivaled experiences for more than a billion passionate fans worldwide.”

“This is the culmination of a decades-long partnership between Endeavor and WWE across strategic initiatives including talent representation and media rights. Given our collaborative, trusted relationship and Endeavor’s incredible track record of success growing UFC, we believe WWE is optimally positioned for future growth and success as part of TKO,” said Vince McMahon, Executive Chairman of TKO. “Our focus remains on delivering for our fans across the globe as we take the business to the next level alongside UFC and Endeavor.”

TKO will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “TKO,” with Endeavor holding a 51% controlling interest in the new company and existing WWE shareholders holding a 49% interest in the new company, on a fully diluted basis.

Leadership Team

As previously announced, TKO is led by:

Ariel Emanuel, Chief Executive Officer, who continues as Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor;

Mark Shapiro, President and Chief Operating Officer, who continues as President and Chief Operating Officer of Endeavor;

Andrew Schleimer, Chief Financial Officer; and

Seth Krauss, Chief Legal Officer, who continues as Chief Legal Officer of Endeavor.

Dana White is now Chief Executive Officer of UFC and Lawrence Epstein remains Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UFC. Nick Khan continues at WWE in the role of President.

The Board of Directors of TKO is led by Vince McMahon as Executive Chairman of the Board and consists of 11 members, including Mr. Emanuel, Mr. Shapiro, and Mr. Khan, in addition to the following directors:

Peter C.B. Bynoe, Senior Advisor at DLA Piper LLP;

Egon P. Durban, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Silver Lake;

Steven R. Koonin, Chief Executive Officer of the Atlanta Hawks, LLC;

Jonathan A. Kraft, President of the Kraft Group LLC;

Sonya E. Medina, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reach Resilience;

Nancy R. Tellem, Executive Chairperson and Chief Media Officer of Eko; and

Carrie Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer and a board member of Opendoor Technologies Inc.

September 11, 2023

End Of An Era

Tonight's WWE Raw will be the last WWE show under the full majority control of Vince McMahon. End of an era.

September 7, 2023

UFC And WWE To Close Merger Next Week, Make NYSE Debut As TKO Group

UFC parent Endeavor Group and World Wrestling Entertainment said today they expect to close the planned merger of UFC and WWE on September 12. That’s on the earlier end of expectations as Endeavor said in August it expected the deal to close in mid-to-late September.

Endeavor and WWE announced a deal last spring for the Ari Emanuel-led company to take control of WWE and merge it into a new, stand-alone entity with UFC. The professional wrestling and mixed martial arts powerhouse will be called TKO Group Holdings and trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Valued at $21 billion, TKO will be a subsidiary of Endeavor, with 51% control. WWE (Raw, SmackDown) will control 49%.

Emanuel will be CEO. continue as president of UFCVince McMahon, WWE’s longtime leader, executive chairman and major shareholder, who orchestrated the deal with Endeavor, was set as executive chair of the new company’s board.

In early August, WWE announced federal law enforcement agents had executed a search warrant and served a federal grand jury subpoena on McMahon although no charges had been brought. WWE CEO Nick Khan also said then that McMahon was on a medical leave of absence until further notice following spinal surgery. launched an internal probe of McMahon in 2022 to investigate allegations of payments to women, which it found had totaled close to $20 million and that caused it to revise several quarterly financial statements. The probe wrapped up last November and McMahon paid the company $17.4 million for costs incurred.

source:  deadline.com

August 11, 2023

Details On Endeavor Deal, WWE-UFC Merger And Plans For NXT

Following the news from earlier this week that the WWE-UFC merger under Endeavor is expected to close next month, Dave Meltzer's latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter offers up some additional details. The report states that layoffs and other efforts to save money are expected to begin within the company very soon. Additionally, Meltzer indicates that people within Endeavor are hoping to work with WWE to make NXT more of a "sustainable third brand."

The idea behind that is to increase the show's ratings, allowing it to bring in higher TV rights fees. According to Meltzer, the company hopes to make NXT a touring brand once again, with both live events and TV taped on the road. However, there is no timeline for when this will become a reality.

As for the previously discussed revival of "NXT U.K.," there is reportedly an idea for a full-time Performance Center in London, as well as the introduction of a new show focused on all of Europe. However, there will be no updates on that until at least next year.

WWE's stock price hit another record-high earlier this week, reaching $114 per share, giving the company a market valuation of nearly $8.5 billion. When the dust settles, the board of TKO will include six individuals from Endeavor and five from WWE. On the WWE side, that includes both Vince McMahon and current WWE CEO Nick Khan, as well as Steve Koonin, Nancy Teliem, and one more individual who has yet to be revealed.

In addition to remaining on the Board of Directors, Vince McMahon will own 16.4% of the stock for the new company, which will be called TKO. Stephanie McMahon will own 1.1% while Linda McMahon will have 0.3% of the company's stock. There was no word on how many shares Shane McMahon will own.

July 2, 2023

Triple H Says UFC Merger Slowed Down NXT Europe Plans

Triple H gave an update on their NXT Europe plans following Money in the Bank on Saturday. WWE announced last year the new brand would be coming in 2023 and speaking at the post-Money in the Bank press conference, Triple H said that the plans have shifted due to Endeavor’s purchase of WWE.

“It’s just slowed down the process I think,” he said (courtesy of Wrestling Inc). “At some point, end of the year, last year, whatever it is, we said in ’23 it would happen. Not having a crystal ball to see where everything was headed in that moment in time, obviously this transition with this merger with UFC with Endeavor and TKO, it’s changed the timeframe. But I think the intent is still the same.”

He continued, “I mentioned under the premise of WrestleMania and premium live events going global, we’re a global company. We’re looking to be everywhere. And I think … there are a lot of amazing talents here, internationally. And we’d love to explore that and give them opportunities to shine on the biggest stage possible and see what we can do with that. It’s just going to take a little bit of time.”

May 16, 2023

Merged UFC And WWE Will Reportedly Be Called TKO Group Holdings

The New Whale has been knocked out and a new, permanent name has been chosen for the soon-to-be-merged WWE and UFC hybrid company.

CNBC is reporting that what was temporarily known as New Whale Inc. will now be known going forward as TKO Group Holdings, with the TKO acronym meaning "technical knockout," paying homage to both UFC and WWE's shared combat sports lineages. While the two companies have an agreement to merge under this new name, WWE is still to be run by Vince McMahon out of its headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, while UFC is still being run by Dana White out of its headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The new company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as TKO. The merger between the two companies will make TKO Group Holdings worth an estimated $20 billion.

Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanuel secured Chairman Vince McMahon to oversee WWE during negotiations with a new revision made to WWE's term sheet which says McMahon must remain in charge of the company until he either retires or is physically unable. McMahon was also granted five of the eleven seats on the WWE Board of Directors, as well as veto power. In exchange for the request to make McMahon executive chairman, WWE shareholders get a higher percentage of voting power under the new terms. Despite McMahon's newly cemented authority, Endeavor has been adamant that WWE Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque will continue to oversee the creative direction of the company.

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